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Nickerson Beach, Photograph Nesting Birds at

     Image by Martin Joffe

Join a group of photographers on the 14th of June when we travel to Long Island to photograph nesting birds at Nickerson Beach.

This a FREE event. However, you will probably encounter tolls and possibly parking fees. (If I recall correctly, we should arrive before the parking lot attendees arrive so we shouldn't have to pay for parking. )

Here are a few images taken on past visits to Nickerson Beach.

Saturday, June 14th is our scheduled day but I'm setting aside Sunday, June 15th  as a rain date and a possible back up date if anyone wants to return for a second bite of the apple.

We will have the opportunity to photograph Black Skimmers, Common Terns with chicks, American Oyster Catchers and possibly some migratory fly-ins.  We should have the opportunity to photograph these birds engaging in courtship, breeding, feeding young, flight and feeding activities.

Because of the distance to Nickerson Beach and travel cost to get there, we're suggesting car pooling. As we get closer to the day of the event, I'll set up a meeting place in New Jersey where we can leave some cars and continue on in car pools. It there are other photographers, coming from the New York side of the Hudson, I'll set up a second meeting spot for purposes of car pooling.

By leaving at 6 a.m. , we'll have more than enough time to meet, drive to Nickerson Beach, stop at a bait shop to pick up some bait fish and drive to Nickerson Beach. Once there, we'll take a short walk out onto the beach and the protected nesting area. 

We'll then be able to photograph some birds nesting, some with chicks and some searching for food along the shoreline taking advantage of low and outgoing tides.

We'll finish photographing when the sun gets too strong for good bird photography and we'll head over to a local restaurant for a group breakfast. After our late breakfast, we'll head back home.

You should wear shoes and clothes suitable for walking on a sandy beach. Waterproof boots will prove invaluable to shore line photography. One key article of clothes is a hat to protect yourself from the sun as well as aerial attacks by protective adult birds. 

While we will be able to get relatively close to birds, short lenses will be useless and the shortest lens that you should plan on bringing is a 70 - 200. Bring an extender and/or a longer lens if you have one. You'll also want a towel or rag to clean off the camera equipment. If you're comfortable using a flash in fill flash mode, bring it.

Bring your tripod even though most of your shooting will be hand help.

Last but not least, bring something to drink.

Hope you're able to join us.

Since this is a weather dependent event, I will contact everyone on Wednesday, June 11th with a go/no go decision.

Martin Joffe and Eric Dong





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  • Annette C.

    Love the meetup had a great time. Thanks looking foward to next adventure. : )

    1 · June 19, 2014

  • Gene L.

    Birds were fine - in a week or two there should be lots of baby terns, that's when I plan to go back.

    1 · June 19, 2014

  • Elaine K.

    Even if the birds didn't cooperate, it was a wonderful day. The people and the weather were superb, and breakfast was pleasant and relaxing. Marty does a superb job.

    2 · June 17, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Are you looking for a job as my PR Agent? Lord knows, I can use all the help I can get.

      Marty

      June 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Marty and Eric! This was my first outing with you all and I had a good time, regardless of the bird situation. Nice weather, beach, company and breakfast. It was a pleasure meeting everyone. I look forward to joining you again in the hopefully near future.

    2 · June 17, 2014

  • Mary F.

    Great time meeting up with some of the "usual suspects" including getting to talk with others at the late breakfast gathering.

    1 · June 17, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Enjoyed the company. Marty

      June 17, 2014

  • Veronica S.

    I was going, not going, now I'm going again. See everyone tomorrow.

    1 · June 13, 2014

  • Liz M

    Sorry, I can't make it. I have plans and the back up/rain date is Father's Day.

    June 6, 2014

  • Susan N.

    Sorry, I have plans! Can't make it!

    June 6, 2014

  • Jackie S.

    I'm disappointed, I arranged to take the day off from work weeks ago. Too bad it was changed so quickly. I was looking forward to it. Now, I can't make it.

    June 5, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Jackie, Sorry for the change but I have no control over the life cycle of birds.

      June 5, 2014

  • Nancy M.

    I'm disappointed that the date has been changed I will be away on those new dates. Hope you can schedule another time to go.
    Nancy

    June 5, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Nancy, I may be going back with a few friends. If I do, I'll give you a call.

      June 5, 2014

  • Glenda E. J.

    Fortunately, I can still make it. Looking forward to this event. Thanks for your continued organization of our Meetup group with great activities. Marty you're the best! Glenda

    June 5, 2014

  • Renate S.

    I can't make it either. I'm babysitting a dog for two weeks and can't leave him alone in the house for so many hours.

    June 5, 2014

  • Janet B.

    Hi Martin
    Someone told me you are taking a group to Nickerson the weekend. Is that so?
    Thanks
    Janet

    June 3, 2014

    • Janet B.

      Thanks Martin. Have fun at the rodeo! I've tried that before and had a difficult time with backgrounds. I wish I could come and learn how to get around this but I've just returned from Cape Cod and someone has to clean the house!

      June 3, 2014

    • Martin J.

      WHAT??? You clean your house? Why? Just do what I do, when the house gets dirty, I move.

      1 · June 3, 2014

  • Glenda E. J.

    Hi Marty. Where do you suggest I stop for bait and what kind? Be descriptive, I have no clue.

    1 · June 1, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Glenda, I'll pick up bait for everyone. I plan on stopping at the following bait shop: Ralph's Tackle & Sporting Goods
      4195 Austin Blvd.
      Island Park, NY 11558

      1 · June 1, 2014

  • Allan S.

    Excellent advice. I will do exactly as you are doing.

    May 15, 2014

  • Mathew R.

    What lens are you using to get your shots? They seem to fill the frame well.

    May 4, 2014

    • Annette C.

      I have a Nikon D7000 what do you think using a[masked]?

      May 14, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Annette, I assume that you meant to ask if a 70 - 200 mm lens will be long enough to be effective at Nickerson Beach. The short answer is probably yes but longer would be better. I'm not familiar with the Nikon D7000. Is it a full frame camera or a crop camera Crop which would be better in that it would increase your reach. Also, if you have and/or can use an extender you would also increase your reach. Also, the nesting area is roped off and if the nesting birds are close to the rope, you'll be able to get getter shots. You can also try to get some shots of birds searching for food at the water's edge. You might be able to sneak on some birds preoccupied with finding food. I will be bringing my 70 - 200mm and will use it on a full frame camera with a 2x extender which will give me a 400mm reach. I will hand hold that camera. I will also be bringing a 500mm lens on a full frame camera and a 1.4 x or 2x extender which will give me reach of up to 1000mm.

      May 15, 2014

  • Nancy M.

    Marty
    I have a 400 lens. My problem is keeping it steady if hand held or on my tripod. Is there a better way to
    stabilize the lens?

    May 10, 2014

    • Ming-Kong L.

      Nancy, I will never think of hand holding a 400 mm Prime lens, by the end of the day I will suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. I use Gitzo and the minimum series you can use it on is a series 3 Gitzo. the higher the series it is heavier and more stable. I find The series a good compromise between the weight and stability. Anything above 400 mm you will need a Gitzo series 5. There are other brands available but I cannot comment as I have never tried it. Finally one needs a Gimbal head to do bird photography. The other alternate is a 300 mm lens which can be hand held without fatigue. MIng

      May 13, 2014

    • Nancy M.

      Thanks Ming. I value your suggestions.

      May 14, 2014

  • Annette C.

    Hi,
    Can we meet there?

    May 12, 2014

  • Ming-Kong L.

    Marty, Does the beach gets crowded on Sunday?

    May 8, 2014

    • Ming-Kong L.

      Marty, Thanks for the info. You are well aware Saturday is no go for me. I will try for the Sunday.

      May 9, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Ming, Yes, I'm aware that you cannot make Saturday photo shoots because you have office hours on Sunday. However, most photographers prefer shooting on Saturday rather than Sunday so I organize photo shoots on Saturdays whenever possible and on Sunday's when a Saturday isn't possible. Marty

      May 9, 2014

  • Lani

    Just confirming we are heading out to the beach at 6 am, not starting our photography there at 6am? Just want to confirm. The latter is not out of the question, but sounds like it would make for a very early morning if we had to be there at 6am.

    April 22, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Lani, We'll be meeting at 6:00 a.m., probably in Fort Lee and then driving to Nickerson. We should get there by 7:30 a.m. Low tide is around 9:00 a.m.

      April 22, 2014

  • Elaine K.

    As you firm up your plans, let me know what is convenient for you. I don't want anyone making an unnecessary trip across the bridge.

    April 22, 2014

  • Elaine K.

    If anyone is driving from Manhattan, I would love to join you.

    April 21, 2014

    • Elaine K.

      I am a very early riser, so meeting you on the NJ side of the bridge is easy if the buses run that early. I don't want anyone to have to put up with tolls and time to fetch me from NY.

      April 22, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Elaine, I'm not certain yet but I'll probably be meeting the group in Fort Lee, NJ and heading over the GW Bridge. There is the possibility meeting up with you in Fort Lee or in the bus terminal on the New York side of the GW Bridge.

      April 22, 2014

  • Susan N.

    Hi,
    I would like to go, but every time I register the software, changes my status to not going......

    April 21, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Susan, I am the culprit being the unintnded changes. I had written and posted the Meetup but hadn't announced it. I then saw that you signed up and said, that can't be since no one knows that the Meetup has been posted. So, I deleted your name thinking it was a mistake. I then announced the meetup and you signed up ao I left your name in as attending. Sorry for the trouble and I can't understand how you could respond to a Meetup before it was announced. Anyway, welcome and glad to have to join us.

      April 22, 2014

    • Susan N.

      I saw the post and signed up......if the weather is right I will meet you there, I am driving from eastern LI

      April 22, 2014

  • Doreen R

    Sorry to miss this one on Long Island, but I will be out of the country.

    1 · April 21, 2014

    • Martin J.

      Doreen, I will miss you but I'll let you look at my great images if I get any.

      April 22, 2014

  • Susan N.

    Tried again hope it sticks!

    April 21, 2014

25 went

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